WISE100 List launched to celebrate leading women in social enterprise

WISE100 List launched to celebrate leading women in social enterprise


The WISE100 List was launched today, (8th March) on International Women's Day, as a celebration of the leading women in social enterprise.


The WISE100 (Women In Social Enterprise 100) will recognise 100 of the most inspiring and influential women in social enterprise, impact investment and social innovation. It is a new initiative from the NatWest SE100 Index - the UK's leading source of market intelligence on social enterprise.


The 100 names will be announced in September at a special celebration hosted by NatWest. Organisers will be inviting nominations for the list via the SE100.net website.


Julie Baker, Head of Enterprise, Business Banking at RBS/NatWest launched the WISE100 at the NatWest SE100 Leadership event at RBS Business School in Edinburgh: "We know that social enterprises already have a fantastic record compared with traditional businesses in terms of their representation of women in leadership roles. With the launch today of the WISE100 on International Women's Day, we want to put a spotlight on women across the UK who are leading the way for business with a social purpose."


Karen Lynch, winner of this year's NatWest SE100 Leadership Award, commented: "Like all businesses, talent is the number one requirement for success and our ability to attract, support and retain this talent in particular is crucial. Social enterprise offers the opportunity to be purpose driven in addition to traditional business performance measures.


UK social enterprise is already outperforming mainstream business when it comes to female leadership statistics. There's been great progress made, but nowhere near enough, yet!


Continued empowerment and support of our women in social enterprise is essential. Practical action such as encouraging flexible working is key but also celebrating the amazing female leadership we have currently will inspire more talented women to join our sector to pursue their career ambitions."


Elaine Lilley, Chief Executive of The EBP and former SE100 Growth Champion Award winner, commented: "It's fantastic that WISE100 will recognise the achievements of women in social enterprise. At The EBP we develop the skills of young people and it's vital that positive female role models are available to inspire the next generation of leaders."


The NatWest SE100 Leadership event brought together the winners and shortlisted organisations from this year's NatWest SE100 Awards. The event was part of a series of events offered through the NatWest SE100 Social Business Club.


Speakers included Cemal Ezal, CEO of Change Please; Tom Rippin, CEO of On Purpose; Dr Helen Haugh, Research Director, Centre for Social Innovation at the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, and Sue Stephenson, Founder of Strategies for Service  and Former Executive, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.